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NFA unloads rice in market to pull down soaring prices
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — Prices of commercial rice have shot up to unimaginable level here and nearby areas, but the government was quick to curb it by infusing rice of the National Food Authority (NFA) into the market.

"It’s heartening to note that NFA succeeded in pulling down the prices of rice which have gone astray," Antonio dela Cruz, NFA regional chief for Southern Mindanao, said yesterday.

NFA said its inventory of imported rice and locally produced rice is adequate to meet the demand of consumers and boost the food security program of the government.

Consumers here and in Regions 11 and 12 had started to grumble as the price of ordinary rice breached the R1,000 mark, rising to R1,080 per 50-kilo bag from the R960 price in March.

The increase in the price of basic staple food was blamed on the drought spawned by the El Niño weather disturbance that has devastated rice fields and unabated increase in prices of oil and other petroleum products.

For the premium or fancy variety rice, the price has ballooned to R1,200 or more per bag, posting a record percent increase compared to its price in late last year.

But timely efforts made by the government to bring down the price of rice proved successful as the prices of ordinary rice now range from R1,020 to R1,030 per bag, Dela Cruz told the Manila Bulletin.

He said this was also true to the fancy or premium rice whose price of R1,200 per bag went down to R1,180 and R1,160, registering a significant reduction.

Diane Silva, NFA assistant regional manager, reported that the infusion of rice into the market was made through its accredited rice retailers, the Bigasan ni Gloria sa Palengke, and fielding of rolling stores.

Also, the decrease in the price of rice, Dela Cruz and Silva said, came about as a result of the rice distribution scheme that makes the farmers as rice distributors through the Integrated Farmers as Distributors (IFAD).

One-million bags of NFA rice were allocated by the government for IFAD, giving farmers nationwide through various cooperatives an estimated R100-million windfall.
MGR Archive 15.5.2005
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Region Type Price  
Russia Rapan $ 700
USA Jupiter Rice $630
USA Calrose #1 $830
USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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